Friday, October 22, 2010

Who Should Start Tomorrow @ Boston

After last night’s performance in Toronto I would expect that the Rangers roll out the same lineup in front of the net against Boston.  Part of that will depend on the health of Eric Christensen’s groin, but even if Christensen cannot go the more likely move is just to move either Todd White or Brian Boyle up a line and go with 11 forwards.  The bigger question right now is which of the two goalies will be between the pipes when the puck is dropped in Beantown.  No, I am not suggesting that there should be some sort of goalie competition or that Biron has played better so he is the number 1 or any non-sense of the like.  What I am saying is that he might be the better option for tomorrow night in Boston for a few reasons.

The first of those reasons is giving a guy with a hot hand another go is usually a good thing because it can help to build his confidence and keep Biron more focused in the games where he will just sit and watch.  I also look at it as an easy way to reward a guy for doing things the right one, keeping himself prepared to play and taking advantage of his opportunities which is a lesson that can help any other player on the team.  The other main reason I see is that I have noticed over the last few years that this team tends to focus a lot more defensively when a goalie other than Henrik is in the net.   I mean no disrespect to Martin Biron or the performance he put on last night because he was superb, but we have not seen that kind of team effort in game up to that point this year.  I do not know if the effort last night was about playing better in front of the backup goalie or if it was just the total team desperation, but what I would say is giving it another game to sink in and become more ritualized can be a good thing as opposed to them “letting up” because they have Lundqvist back there to be the proverbial bail out. 

The combination of how well Biron played with allowing another game to engrain better habits lead me to argue for Biron getting the start tomorrow and going back to Henrik on Sunday against the Devils.  Besides more rest for Henrik now can only be a good thing for him later in the year when he wont have as much wear and tear on his body as in previous seasons.  Tortorella complained last year he needed a backup goalie he could be confident in going to more, even twice in a row and so now is his chance to show it wasnt just him blowing smoke and see what Biron can do.

Hit me with your thoughts.

Rangers Get Back to Basics Thus Bringing Back Winning.

The other day I wrote that the Rangers in general, and especially in this stretch without Gaborik, Prospal and Drury to add offense, need to get back to playing basic fundamental hockey.  To me basic fundamental hockey includes sound defensive zone coverage, 5 man team hockey in both zones, blocking shots, killing penalties, not taking bad penalties, consistent hard effort, fore-checking the offensive zone, opportunism in transition/counter and a goalie coming up with a few critical saves each game.  Based on that definition I have to give the Rangers outing last night in Toronto an A.